Here is my plan for right now. I've been given lots of fabric for charity quilts and there is still more that is supposed to be coming in. It has een great and a lot of it has been scraps and various sized pieces. So, instead of actually cutting up my own stash I'm thinking of starting with the donated fabric. That is where I want to focus my energy anyhow so I would love for it to be organized.
I'm thinking of cutting into four different sizes - fat quarter or 10.5 inch square (I haven't decided which yet), 2.5 inch strips, strings and crumbs. I know I will use the three smaller sizes. I've found quite a few different patterns I like that use 2.5 inch strips, I'd use the strings for string blocks and then the crumbs for crumb blocks. Now, the biggest size is where I'm not sure about, either a fat quarter or a 10.5 inch square. I figure that I could use a fat quarter for a lot of different things and it would be a good sized chunk to cut other pieces out of if I wanted to. But yet I don't know if I could get a fat quarter our of many of the donated fabrics. With the 10.5 inch square, I could still get other pieces out of it if I wanted and I could use them for backings like Bonnie does. Plus I think I could probably get squares out of more pieces of the donated fabrics.
My plan is to just pick a piece of donated fabric and see if I can get the biggest size out of it. Then cut 2.5 inch strips out of the rest. Whatever is left will go into the strings containers. Whenever there are little random pieces I'll put them into the crumb containers. I would never really "cut" strings or crumbs because they do sorta multiply on their own anyhow. Basically the cutting I'd be doing would be the initial cut of a big chunk (either fat quarter or 10.5 inch square) and 2.5 inch strips. The rest would be more of just distributing the pieces to the right bin.
Now, sorting - lol! I can't decide which way to go with that either. Here is what I'm thinking, but of course it could change at any minute. I am thinking of sorting the 2.5 inch strips and the strings by both size and color. There would be times when I'd want to make a blue and yellow string quilt or whatever and it'd be nice to just grab those containers. I would leave the crumbs all together and not sort by color at all. When I make crumb blocks I always just sew them together randomly. Again, it's the fat quarters or 10.5 inch squares that I can't decide on. Either way would probably work fine. The problem I can see with sorting by color instead of just lights/darks is the amount of containers I would need. But yet the convenience would be great too.
Another thing that has been mentioned is the fact that our time should be spent actually quilting instead of organizing. I agree to a point with this. It isn't like I'm going to be spending every moment of my free time sorting and cutting. I have already spent a considerable amount of time on charity quilts this year. I've got 9 completions, which is huge for me! But I do enjoy the process of cutting and sorting. I enjoy organizing everything and I really love the idea of having all my donation fabric accessible and useable. Oh and I would consider them useable because like I mentioned earlier, I already have lots of plans for each size that I'm going to be keeping.
I really think this plan is going to work for me but it's also nice to get others opinions. That is what always makes me think about my own plans and really discern whether they are going to work for me and my quilting style.